It’s common for a manuscript to need revisions before it can be accepted for publication in a journal, but every once in a while, I have trouble getting a paper accepted. It floats from one journal to the next and I am forced to deal with rejection after rejection with no chance to defend myself. On June 26, 2020, the paper “Coastal sedimentation across North America doubled in the 20th century despite river dams” was published in Nature Communications. The study was conducted as part of a seminar class at UNC Chapel Hill, Department of Marine Sciences led by Brent McKee and me. All seminar participants are authors. We wrote the manuscript during the summer of 2018 and had no idea we were getting on a roller coaster. The figure, above, shows the three journals that previously rejected our work with some excerpts from the reviewer comments (there were many to choose from). Nature Communications and those final reviewers were kind and patient, allowing us to respond to criticisms and revise the manuscript three times before it was accepted. Those final reviews and our responses are available for download from a link in the manuscript (and here).
The figure above should by no means be interpreted as an expression of retribution, rather, it is meant to show empathy with others on the publishing roller coaster. Our final work is not perfect, but it is much improved over that first submission. Molly Bost and Carson Miller are both in PhD programs- currently working on new manuscripts for publication. Anna Atencio works at Geodynamics in Morehead City, NC.